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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Romney Edges Paul Out In Maine- Can Paul Sill Win?

By Susan Duclos

[Update] Because Washington County, Maine still has not cast their votes, Ron Paul is not conceding Maine to Romney, even though officials have declared Romney the winner. Nate Silver crunches the numbers and while not probable, there is a scenario where despite the official ruling Paul could take the win.

What such an outcome would require is for Mr. Paul’s campaign to make a concerted effort to turn out any supporters it has in the area. There are 6,907 registered Republicans in Washington County, and another 8,247 unaffiliated registered voters, who are eligible to participate by changing their registration to Republican at the caucus site. Unregistered voters, for that matter, are also free to participate provided that they register at the caucus site.

Imagine, for instance, that voters turned out in the county at a rate comparable the Iowa caucuses, where Mr. Paul had a strong turnout operation. In Iowa, 122,255 Republicans participated in the caucuses as compared to a total of 644,220 voters who were registered as Republican prior to caucus night.

Were turnout in Washington County to occur at the Iowa rate, it would produce about 1,300 participants at the caucuses, enough to swing the outcome if Mr. Paul received about 15 percent more of their votes than Mr. Romney.

A more likely scenario, perhaps, is that Mr. Paul would work to turn out his supporters while the other campaigns would not. Mr. Romney’s campaign, in particular, might seem to give credence to the notion that the straw poll was an unresolved issue if it made extra effort to turn out voters there.

If Mr. Paul were somehow to secure the 194-vote margin, that would create a messy scenario for the Maine G.O.P. It would either need to backtrack on its previous statements that the straw poll results are final, or might risk appearing as though it was disenfranchising voters.

This would be an embarrassment for Maine GOP officials but after Iowa's turnaround where Romney was declared the winner then the official certified tallies showed that Rick Santorum won, it is not out of the realm of possibility.

Original post below

A quickie..... the Maine caucuses while were conducted over multiple days ended up with Mitt Romney beating out Ron Paul by a 39 to 36 percent margin with Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich getting 18 percent and 6 percent respectively. Santorum and Gingrich both did not put much effort into the Maine caucuses, so their 3rd and 4th placements were expected.


Although the vote had no substantive meaning in terms of delegates, losing it could have created a political headache for Mr. Romney, the former governor of nearby Massachusetts, and extended a negative storyline that had been building since last week when he lost Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri to Mr. Santorum.

Those losses suddenly increased the symbolic importance of Maine’s all-but-ignored caucuses, and an additional loss on Saturday in his own backyard would have magnified concerns that he cannot seal the deal with voters.

Next up, February 28th, 2012 with Arizona and Michigan primaries and a debate on February 22, 2012, sponsored by CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona to be held at 8pm ET held at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona

(Full Republican primary/caucus schedule found HERE)